Cherchant le calme près de la cheminée


Searching for calm by the fire is my title for the day. It is about eight o’clock as I sit and sip my eight o’clock freshly brewed coffee and sit in the old armchair next to the fire.  I am, once again, searching for calm.  It is day seven of Daddy Boot Camp.

I don’t mean to give the impression that I am a total bundle of nerves or an emotional mess.  Not that I shouldn’t be, mind you, but I am not.  I find that I am perhaps more dramatic as I sit and let my fingers fly on the keyboard.  I find that that, in and of itself, is calming.

I am planning on Al-Anon, I believe the meeting is in the same church where I spent so many years as Advancement Chairman for the boys’ boy scout troop.  I think it will be helpful.

I took my blood pressure and it seems to be a somewhat reasonable, for me, reading at 126/62.  I have already started a fire in the beloved fireplace that inspired my tale of the Arrow to Ugliness.  The Westminster chimes are mysteriously still operational.  Is that a good omen?  I do think so.

The coffee is soothing.  I am one of those odd people who really doesn’t crave coffee for the caffeine, my body seems to produce that in abundance and it is incredibly mirrored in Michael as he flits about the house in a seemingly energizer bunny mode (so typical of a Koerner) and inhales food every step of the way. 

Yesterday gave way to yet more discussions, discussions that continue to lead toward healing and the long sought after catharsis.  When I started writing this blog, I included the word in the title; I must have known something was going to come to pass.

We continually have more ideas as to how to sew up this passage of time into the family annals, ideas have sprung giving us more thoughts on how we are going to take charge of the California situation and bring Mikey’s possessions home.  Thoughts on U-Haul versus UPS are still up in the air and frankly I think that we just need to be out there to assess the situation.

My sleeping was somewhat odd, the preceding night I was dreaming and a recurring name kept going through my head:  Garesh Speyerling (Speierling?).  Go figure!  I googled the name to no avail.  The mind is a strange thing.  This past night I kept smelling vegetable soup.  Finally, around six I turned to Mary Kay and asked her if she smelled anything.  Here is something I have never understood in the case of evolution.  Why is it that I have a long nose and yet it is pretty non-functional when it comes to truly discerning smells?  You would think that I would have a career in perhaps, wine tasting, or something on that order.  Yet, Mary Kay is far more proficient in that area. Anyway, she didn’t smell anything.  Makes a person feel crazy. Later, as she was doing her toilette, she suddenly smelled vegetable soup.  We still haven’t figured it out.  We wondered if it might be the sautéed onion from last night’s steak dinner. 

We are all now awake.  We are sitting in the living room, listening to the crackling fire and enjoying the ticking of the clock as we read the Sunday paper and continue to sip on our fresh coffee.

Outside it is cold and brisk.  There are still a few miniscule mounds of dirty snow, reminding us, along with the cold, that it is still winter. This reminds me that I need to take care of my boot situation so that maybe I can get in some cross country skiing.

Christian came over and he and Mikey are going to ice skate in the local park.  Hopefully the Park District will have gotten its act together and not done the usual illogical preparation of the ice rink.  I remember so well hearing that they took hoses and shot the water up into the air one year with a result that there were mini mounds on the sheet of ice in the ice rink.  It is amazing how sometimes easy things become ridiculously hard!

Partying is on for Grandma K’s 90th birthday.  I took her flowers yesterday and stayed with her for a bit. I asked her nurses if she even knew it was her birthday.  She has dementia, but not to the point that she doesn’t recognize who you are.  Once we knew that dementia was taking hold we were able to get her on Aricept.  In her case, the Aricept has made her dementia level off and not get worse. Calendar stuff like birthdays and such are pretty much meaningless to her.  Her nurses told me that she had no clue it was her birthday.  It turns out they had serenaded her and that is how she found out.  That makes me happy.  Having her in the nursing home makes me sad, especially since on Medicaid, it is hard to have a nice facility.  Her location is wonderful, however, as it is not truly beautiful in atmosphere, but everyone is nice and caring.

We have a room set aside and we are going to bring in her favorite coconut pie to fête her ninety years.  The Cleveland contingent is unable to come in but the Chicago area group will all be there: three grandsons, and the great granddaughter. It will be a nice day for her.

I am sitting too far from the fire and need to get closer; Mikey had taken my place near the fire when he descended from his cool bedroom lair.  One thing he has found hard to deal with is the thermostat settings we have in the winter that pretty much demand that you be in good sweaters.  We keep the temp way down at night.  California and Texas people have difficulty adjusting to it.

Signing off for now, breakfast is looming and I need to warm my toes before then…

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